Wellington-based Isabella Loudon is rapidly carving space as one of New Zealand’s most original and accomplished emerging artists since graduating BFA from Massey University in Wellington in 2016. Originally scheduled to present her first project in Auckland at the gallery in September 2020, due to Covid delays that was pushed back to February 2021; a project is now opening at Trish Clark Gallery at 6pm on Friday 19 February 2021.
Meanwhile, she presented the solo project wastelands at Te Tuhi’s Papatūnga in Parnell in November 2020; prior to which she presented solo exhibitions Labyrinth (2018) at The Dowse Art Museum, Wellington; disintegration loops (2018) and new narcissisms (2019) at Robert Heald Gallery, Wellington; a project at Auckland Art Fair (2018); and major installations in group exhibitions The Tomorrow People at Adam Art Gallery in Wellington (2017) and Unravelled at City Art Gallery Wellington (2019).
Loudon’s large-scale sculptural installations are distinguishable by their interaction with the space in which they exist, drawing heavily on their contextual landscape. Unusually sensitive to the nuances of individual space, and drawing inspiration from artists working in anti-form sculpture such as Robert Morris, Barry Le Va, and Eva Hesse, Loudon chooses to evoke dissonance through draping, pouring, scattering and disintegration. Creating artworks in situ, she works to and within the space over an extended period of time considering the aesthetics and history of the space, its structural integrity, its use and audience, and the conceptual underpinnings of her concerns.
The final installations are striking multi-media works that yet inhabit their environment completely naturally. Loudon plays with duality: twine will be dipped in thin concrete, soft rubber tubing will be pierced with wire, a steel grid may hang gently from the ceiling. Through this interplay, a conversation occurs between usually dichotomous states of being: tender versus rough, industrial versus domestic, structural versus freeform. This consistent exploration of fragility and precarity in Loudon’s thought-provoking work forces us to consider the precariousness of being and perception. Preferring not to provide any specific reading for her art, Loudon’s potent work nevertheless demands the audience ponder its meaning through the visceral emotions it evokes.
Loudon lives and works in Wellington, New Zealand.